Germany's Dirk Schrade has just won the last four star international horse trials of the season at Pau in France. He was riding his 'Holsteiner' gelding King Artus. The reports of his win have quickly spread around the world...to the delight of those breeding and selling Holsteiners.
However there is no mention of the fact that his sire is in fact a thoroughbred, King Milford, out of the Holsteiner mare Alida 1V. Then one looks at Alida 1V's breeding and we finds out that she was by a stallion who was himself 50% thoroughbred, being by the great Ladykiller, and out of a mare that was 75% Thoroughbred with the legendary thoroughbreds Heathersett and Cottage Son supplying this blood. Then some more thoroughbred comes to light with some Selle Francais in the breeding.
So this means King Artus is by a Thoroughbred out of a mare who is very close to being 3/4 thoroughbred, and his total percentage of Holsteiner blood is only slightly over 8%, while the Thoroughbred percentage is 85%. We need to know this in the sport if we are to encourage the breeding of the right type of horses for elite eventing and not be led astray by brand names.
In second place was the 'Hannoverian' Butts Leon ridden by Andreas Dibowski. It is the same story...he is less than 2% Hannoverian. The question is how many people will ever discover this?